I recently discovered your book and am about half way through it…
D-Day was 4 years ago and I went through everything you mentioned a chump would do. Therapy with the FW, being understanding for the role I played in the infidelity, and even uprooted myself back to his hometown so he could be back closer to his family and friends, to help with his depression.
We have since stayed together, got engaged, and went through a couple of smaller micro affairs where he messaged women behind my back while I was on business trips. Last month, we were out for his birthday at a bar. In front of family and friends, a women who was his client was openly flirting with him the whole night which made it massively awkward and disrespectful. He did not take any active action to remove her or us from the situation and that was the last straw. I ended things and he is in the process of moving out.
The irony of the situation is that his family believes he had done nothing wrong as she was ‘just a drunken nuisance’ while I saw it completely differently. He did nothing to protect our relationship that night knowing the history we had and even questioned why I ‘didn’t step in and say something’. Missing the complete point.
I feel as though all those useful tips and advice from your book would have been helpful one month after D Day, not four years after as it almost feels as though the statute of limitations have expired. I know it makes no logical sense but that’s what’s on my mind. One month out, and I miss him terribly. I saw him briefly a few days ago to sort out bills and just broke down. He was also upset and even teared up as he feels like the rug got pulled from underneath him and he had done nothing wrong on his birthday. He also feels I have just dragged him along these past four years. I brought up the messaging women points and he said ‘I didn’t actually meet up with them!’ Which again showed me how far apart our standards and boundaries are in protecting a relationship we have with a life partner.
Am I overreacting and just need to get over the trauma? How do I keep moving on the right path and not feel sucked in? I’m scared to be alone and find there is no point to life at times (not suicidal but there is a grey cast over everything). I’m in my late 30s and this is now my third failed long term relationship. I am so confused and overwhelmed with sadness and fear.
You’re not overreacting (and you will get over the trauma; it’s finite). You just need a massive infusion of Trust That He Sucks.
Of course he doesn’t think he sucks. In therapy, he was quite happy to pin the blame on you. You “played a role.” (I would like to bitch slap that therapist. How exactly do you drive someone to do something you don’t even know about? If you have superpowers they should be better directed.)
And, of course, his parents don’t think he sucks. They created this entitled monster. Also, you don’t know what stories he’s telling them.
Turmoil, you need a wider perspective. Here we are — CN — to tell you — this guy SUCKS.
He cheated on you, and then he kept cheating on you. “Smaller micro affairs”? Why are you minimizing this? You gave him the (undeserved) gift of reconciliation and he continued to be a shady, abusive jerk. Messaging women when you were out of town? To do what? Tell them about Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? The Macy’s Day sale?
No, he was trying to hook up. And then he’s okay flirting with another woman in front of your face! Bold power move — in front of his friends and family. (Also, forgive my skepticism, but I suspect he’s probably got an affair going with the client for her to feel that uninhibited in her affections. Ask a few thousands chumps who’ve sat on that awkward bar stool how we know…) He was enjoying the pick-me dance.
He did nothing to protect our relationship that night knowing the history we had and even questioned why I ‘didn’t step in and say something’.
Yeah, he’s real disappointed you didn’t join the pick-me dance. How great that would be — two women fighting over the awesomeness of him.
Also, you notice a pattern here? How you’re responsible for him? For his “depression,” for his happiness, for his boundaries?
It’s not your job to adult for him.
it almost feels as though the statute of limitations have expired.
There is no statute of limitations on what is acceptable to you.
One month out, and I miss him terribly. I saw him briefly a few days ago to sort out bills and just broke down.
It’s normal to miss the lie — of who you thought he was and the future you thought you were going to have. Don’t confuse that grief with the actual HIM. (A guy who cheats and mindfucks.) But you absolutely need to go NO CONTACT. There is no earthly reason why you need to see him in person to sort out bills. He can Venmo you. That’s you getting a toke on the hopium pipe, and him trying to see if his mindfuckery still works. NO CONTACT.
He was also upset and even teared up as he feels like the rug got pulled from underneath him and he had done nothing wrong on his birthday.
Poor boo. Manipulation channel set at self-pity. He’s DARVOing you.
YOU had the rug pulled out from your life. (He cheated and kept cheating.) YOU did nothing wrong at his birthday. (You sat there confused and humiliated. But did not pick-me dance.)
He also feels I have just dragged him along these past four years.
Oh, really? I thought you moved to his home town.
I brought up the messaging women points and he said ‘I didn’t actually meet up with them!’ Which again showed me how far apart our standards and boundaries are in protecting a relationship we have with a life partner.
Right. You don’t share values or standards. It’s not going to work. And there is NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU for having values and standards. Like the bare minimum of “I won’t tolerate abuse.” Cheating is abuse. Mindfuckery — gaslighting, minimizing, blameshifting — is abuse. He is abusive. Damn straight you don’t share that. He wants a chump. You want a partner with integrity.
I’m scared to be alone and find there is no point to life at times.
We’ve all been there. You’re more alone with this guy than you are solo. Breaking free is the first step toward getting the kind of life you want. Staying with this creep isn’t going to improve your future. I know it feels overwhelming, but stay no contact and move ahead. Also talk to your doctor about depression — and get STD testing too.
I’m in my late 30s and this is now my third failed long-term relationship.
You didn’t fail. HE failed. I wish you didn’t have four years of sunk costs with a loser, but there are a lot of messages out there telling people to patch it up with cheaters. Don’t look at relationships as a head count — look at them as experiences you learn from. It takes GUTS to stand up and demand better. It takes resilience to live your values and not tolerate abuse.
Take some time to work on yourself — not because this is your fault. But because you own things that aren’t yours to own. (His failure, his boundaries, his happiness.) Chumpdom is a curable condition. You’re young. There’s a big world out there full of people worth knowing. You just have to develop better boundaries.
Resist the creeping panic of He’s The Last Fuckwit Who Will Ever Love Me.
Bullshit. Fuckwits don’t love.
Hold out for love, Turmoil. Big ((hugs)).